16-foot python lost 18 months ago in Austin reunited with owner

AUSTIN, Texas — A giant albino reticulated python lost 18 months ago in central Texas was reunited with its owner on Monday.

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Officials with the Austin Animal Center said in a Facebook post that they received a telephone call from several residents, who said the 16-foot reptile had been captured and was being kept in their garage, KDFW-TV reported.

The female snake, named Snow, had been slithering through the Coronado Hills neighborhood in Austin since July, according to KVUE-TV. Officials with the animal center said the snake had become lethargic during the cooler temperatures, the television station reported.

Snow was placed in temporary housing before being relocated to the Austin Zoo, KVUE-TV reported.

Staff members from the Austin Animal Center later identified Snow’s owner from a Nextdoor post, according to the television station.

“We called him up and he was able to identify a unique feature of the python,” the organization wrote on Facebook. “He drove down the next day to pick her up.”

The man, Dallas resident Daryl Fields, was visiting Austin 18 months ago and brought Snow with him, KXAN-TV reported.

Fields, who collects exotic snakes, had several when he visited his brother in Austin, according to the television station. He said he was napping when someone robbed his van, taking a tote bag that contained Snow.

“My window was busted and my van door (was open). I use a van to transport my snakes,” Fields told KXAN. “I thought the snake was stolen.”

Fields told the television station that the thief must have seen Snow inside the tote, “freaked out and panicked, realizing there was a snake inside.”

Oh, to see the look on the thief’s face when they opened it up,” the Austin Animal Center wrote on social media.

Fields said the timing was perfect for finding Snow.

“It’s like the best Christmas gift ever,” Fields told KXAN.